In episode 115, Coffey talks with Kara Kelley about September’s HR news items related to pay transparency; productivity, grind culture, and work-life balance; and a horrendous allegation of sexual harassment against a fast food franchise. They discuss different perspectives on the new pay transparency in job postings; the gender pay gap; internal pay equity concerns as the labor market cools down; whether 85% should be employees’ productivity target; whether young professionals should embrace “grind” culture; bringing one’s whole self to work; developing leadership that cultivates engagement; and a horrendous allegation of sexual harassment against a fast food franchise. One correction is appropriate: Coffey said that Schoolhouse Rock taught him that seven was the magic number. Three is the actual magic number. Now we know why Coffey entered HR and not accounting. Here are some of the news items they discussed:
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Kara Kelley

Kara Kelley

Kara works with Dental Practice Leaders to develop strategic HR systems that engage their team and strengthen their practice. She is the founder and CEO of Clinical HR LLC, a Human Resources advisory firm for dental and medical practices. Kara focuses on cultivating leadership skills, managing employee relations issues, and implementing competitive total rewards systems. She also works with practices to develop employee policies and establish compliant HR systems.

Though Kara initially enrolled in a Marketing degree program, she took an HR course for a general business credit and fell in love with it, eventually earning a B.S. in Business with a concentration in Human Resource Management. Kara is a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and holds Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). She is also an Everything DiSC Workplace Certified Facilitator and a Five Behaviors Certified Practitioner.

A life-long learner who is never content with the status quo, Kara serves on several professional boards and committees. She is the Co-Chair of the Mentorship Committee and a member of the Legal & Legislative committee for Austin SHRM. Kara is currently serving as President of the National Speakers Association Austin chapter. In 2022, she helped found the ADMC Memorial Foundation, a scholarship program for new practice owners. Kara also founded the Dental Leadership Mindset Facebook group that serves as an HR Hub for Practice Leaders.


  1. Diana Clendenin

    Love the podcasts, Mike! Feels like I’m sitting there with you and your guests for a conversation.

    • Mike Coffey

      Thanks, Diana! It means a lot that you enjoy it!

  2. Christian Blood

    You all discussed Indeed’s practice of supplying it’s own salary data on job postings. I first noticed this in August 2022 when, during screening calls, applicants to entry-level roles were mentioning wild salary numbers, around 2x what we were planning to pay. What we learned is that if compensation information isn’t listed in the ad, or (crucially) if it’s listed but not in a way that Indeed’s AI can easily read, Indeed will add its own estimate. In principle, that’s great, but only if the information is accurate and reasonable.


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